Virtual keyboards aren't exactly a new concept, but Nokia's patent describes a mobile phone with integrated equipment, which allows a virtual keyboard to be set up more rapidly. The patent, titled, "Mobile device with virtual keyboard," does away with the need for a separate projector entirely, by instead using the onboard camera and optical sensors that are already present in typical mobiles. There is a drawback, however.
As projectors are not included in your standard handset, there is no way to project a keyboard on an external surface. Nokia plans to use the phone's display to show the QWERTY keyboard, while the camera and sensors pick up finger position and relay that information back to the screen in real time. Inputs of sounds, or vibrations from fingers tapping, will also be translated into certain on-screen gestures. We have to give Nokia the good effort award, but it sounds awfully far-fetched. Hey, technology didn't get to where it was today by not challenging the status quo. We just think Nokia is challenging it in the wrong way. (Yes, there is a wrong way.) [Unwired View]